Trump’s Thursday closed-door meeting on immigration with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders turned into something worse than an episode of “Black Mirror” could ever conceive after The Washington Post reported Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries.”
For a primetime broadcast journalist the rush to cover breaking news could create a missed opportunity to accurately convey the explicit emotional horror of 45’s comments. But CNN’s primetime and evening hosts, Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, did not disappoint and instead provided their audiences with poignant commentary.
The two had copious amounts of time last night, and used their respective platforms to take on Trump head on. First up was Cooper, who opened his show with pure facts, quoting James Baldwin, the great American writer while doing so.
Cooper buried his emotional lead until the last block of his program. On the brink of tears, the award-winning journalist layered his personal experiences of Haiti and the resilient people: the man who taught him math, the time he spent covering the 2010 Haiti earthquake as the first team of journalists at ground zero, and the miraculous uncovering of a five-year-old Haitian boy rescued from underneath layers of ruble after seven days.
“Haitian’s slap your hand hard when they shake it. They look you in the eye, they don’t blink,” he said. “They stand tall and they have dignity. It’s a dignity many in this White House could learn from. It’s a dignity the president with all his money, and all his power, could learn as well.”
After Cooper set it up, Lemon knocked it all the down with his opening line.
“This is CNN Tonight and I am Don Lemon. The president of the United States is racist. A lot of us already knew that,” he said.
Lemon also completely cut off a commentator John Fredericks after he tried to frame Lemon’s positioning as contrived and “lazy.”
On Friday Trump denied making the comments, an awkward departure from the White House’s previous statement which did nothing to really distance themselves from the catastrophe.
The days of being objective are still a vital thread in journalism, but when the totality of a nation’s humanity is questioned, there is no time to debate propaganda.
Telling the truth will continue to be a pivotal part of the Trump age and will separate the woke from the fool-hearted.
SOURCE: The Washington Post